Credited as being the most natural looking of all the types of mascaras, the original type of mascara sold was cake mascara. The mascara came in a dry, cake-like form to which a dab of water had to be added. A brush was then used to paint the mascara onto the eye lashes until the desired thickness was achieved.
In the early 1900s, this type of mascara was first marketed. To this day, its formula has not changed all that much, and the application process still remains largely the same. However, its use has largely decreased over time because of the popularity of tube mascara, which does not require the addition of water and can be applied anywhere at any time.
Cake mascara is applied with a small brush, which is similar in appearance to a much undersized toothbrush. Another tool that is commonly used along with the brush is an eye lash separator or eyebrow brush. This eye lash separator is gently combed through the lashes after the mascara is applied. Doing this will remove any excess mascara and further define the lashes. As many coats of mascara can be applied as desired.
Although the application process is a bit more involved, cake mascara is the chosen product by many makeup artists. The reason for this choice is that this type of mascara does not clump and fall off after it is applied. Liquid mascaras tend to flake due to the binder that must be used to create this product. Also, the exact volume of lashes desired is more easily achievable with this type of mascara because layer upon layer may be applied until the desired effect is achieved.
Unlike other liquid mascaras, cake mascara does not have an expiration date. Liquid mascaras tend to dry up and also can contain germs due to the repeated use of the mascara wand without washing between uses. Cake mascara is far more hygienic than its more modern and liquid counterpart. One cake mascara outlasts a tube of mascara, not only because a tube should be disposed of after a month of use but also because the cake type allows for no waste of product.
Today, it is Marilyn Monroe who is perhaps most remembered for her long eye lashes. These memorable lashes are credited to cake mascara. Though not as popular as it once was due to its application process, cake mascara still offers the flawless look it did decades ago.